Meal plans at UM are a little more complicated than choosing between All Campus and Food Zoo Unlimited.

Food Zoo gets swiped

A University of Montana student takes a fork out of the utensil bin at the Food Zoo on Tuesday night.

All first-time freshman who live on campus are required to have a meal plan.

Both plans come with $200 Flex Dollars that can be spent at all the food locations on campus. This money is available all semester, but if you don’t spend it, you will lose it.

The Food Zoo Unlimited plan is pretty straight-forward. You can go to the Food Zoo as many times as you want (while its open) each week and you get the $200 Flex Dollars to spend anywhere on campus throughout the semester.

With the All Campus plan, you have $78.75 to spend each week anywhere on campus except for the Market in the UC. This resets every Sunday, and just like the Flex Dollars, if you don’t use it, its gone. Swiping into the Food Zoo costs $3.75 of the weekly budget.

It’s important to budget your weekly meal plan money and your Flex Dollars. You can check how much money is left every time you swipe into the Food Zoo or when you purchase food anywhere else on campus. If you have money from your meal plan left on Friday that you won’t use on Saturday, go to the Corner Store and stock up on snacks for your dorm room.

The Food Zoo is the cheapest option for any meal on campus. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet that only costs a swipe. It has options meeting any dietary restrictions, and the main line dish changes each meal.

After the first few weeks, the meals at the Food Zoo can start to feel kind of repetitive and you will probably find you like certain meals more than others. The Food Zoo module on the UMontana app posts the meal schedule. Watch out for chicken strip nights. They get pretty crazy.


If you want to switch meal plans, reach out to the UM Dining meal plan specialist by calling (406) 423-6325 or emailing angila.kress@mso.umt.edu.